Coming off of a disappointing 2014 season in which the Georgetown football team went 3-9, senior quarterback Kyle Nolan and the Hoyas have a lot to improve upon if they are to achieve their goal of finally winning a Patriot League conference title.
A considerable amount of the team’s success will depend on the offense, led by Nolan. Last year, Georgetown’s offense was outscored by opponents with a cumulative score of 248 to 149, and Nolan himself completed only 51.3 percent of his pass attempts to go along with just nine touchdown passes.
The senior quarterback from Branford, Conn. knows a lot is expected of him this season, and he is confident in his ability to lead this team to a Patriot League title.
“We’re looking to win the league championship,” Nolan said. “We come in every year with the expectation to win, and there’s no point in playing the game if you don’t want to win. There’s no team on our schedule that we can’t beat.”
With many key offensive players returning this year, including senior running backs Jo’el Kimpela and Daniel Wright and senior wide receiver Jake DeCicco, the pressure is on for Nolan to orchestrate a more efficient and dynamic offense that can win games for the team this season.
“Kyle is extremely important to how well this offense does this season,” Offensive Coordinator Michael Neuberger said. “He’s a great leader for our guys; he’s played a lot of football here. We feel as though he is our guy who is going to put us in the best position to win right now.”
Nolan has grown considerably to get to this point in his athletic career and has assumed a great deal of responsibility for the team’s success. The quarterback has been with the team four years now, and he has transformed from an inexperienced freshman to a leader who can carry the team both with his arm and his feet.
The 6-foot-6-inch quarterback is mostly a pocket passer, but he can also extend plays with his feet by escaping pressure and running to open space if his receivers are covered.
“The great thing about Kyle is he really understands the game,” Head Coach Rob Sgarlata said. “He does a really good job in film study and in his overall knowledge of our scheme. … He’s not the most vocal of people, [he] more leads by example, but he’s gotten out of his comfort zone of being a leader both on and off the field, and in how he holds himself with his demeanor in front of our players.”
Neuberger echoed Sgarlata’s praise.
“Over the past year [Nolan] has certainly heightened his ability on and off the field with everything that he does,” Neuberger said. “He trains very hard, both in the classroom and on the field, and studies the game extremely hard in the classroom and on the field and has learned to operate at the tempo that we want to run with the consistency that we need him to operate at.”
With the Hoyas traveling to play St. Francis University Saturday, confidence in Nolan is high and many expect a marked improvement in the offense this season.
“I want to put our offense in the best position to succeed and that starts with me making the right decisions and getting us to check out of a play if it comes to that,” Nolan said.
Kimpela and Sgarlata both believe Nolan has all the tools to become a great quarterback this season. “[Nolan] definitely has a rocket arm … always putting us in the best position to make plays,” Kimpela said.
Sgarlata agreed, touting Nolan’s impressive athleticism.
“People don’t realize he has the third [highest] vertical leap on our team. He’s just not a big quarterback, he runs well too,” Sgarlata said. “And when you look at all the other quarterbacks in the conference, he can make all the throws. There’s not many things we want to do that he can’t physically do.”
The Hoyas have a lot of work to do to improve upon last year’s dismal 3-9 record, and this year, it all starts with Nolan and the offense. If he can continue to improve and get the offense clicking early on, it’ll be an exciting season at Multi-Sport Facility.
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